Continue to Pray Please – Kazakhstan #12

Today I will be meeting with an apostle and prophet (married couple) in the morning. They live in Almaty and will be moving to Russia in June to plant a church there is a city of 2 million. We are involved in their plans and the way they are working to begin the church as an apostolic and prophetic expression of the Lord’s house. I have met with him a number of times over the past year both here in Kazakhstan and in Russia as these plans were originally being formulated. It is nice to see the initial stages coming to completion.

I am also meeting this afternoon with several couples who are planting churches and whom I am mentoring and coaching – one I have not seen since arriving on this trip the other I have already had a morning with and so we will follow up from those discussions held last week. As well, I will be meeting with a house church numbering about 20 to begin prophetic ministry in their corporate life. So, I will be teaching the real basics of the prophetic and then ministering to as many as time allows.

It will be a full day ending after 11:00p tonight with a drive back to the compound where we are staying. And, as it is Monday and we have had a full three days of ministry in our last location (7 services averaging 3.5 hours each) plus numerous meetings the team will be dragging a bit during the events of today.

Your prayers for Timor, Miroslav and myself as well as several younger apostles-in-training would be greatly appreciated. As well, your prayers for the churches in the city of Karaganda which were represented here in our school (4 different churches – three new to my ministry) would also be greatly appreciated. As well – prayers for Ceric (pictured) who I mentor and a young apostle and prophet from The Covenant of Christ Church in Karaganda (pictured) would also be appreciated. Thanks for standing with us in prayer. You are a vital part of the success of this ministry.

All Things In Proportion

Some times I think about things I see and then what I don’t see and ask myself what Jesus might do if he were with me in the situation. I was speaking with someone here about the death of Ben Ladin and the very public start of the war on terror … 7-11 when the twin towers came down after several jet planes crashed into them on purpose.

Then I was thinking about the children I see daily over here in Eastern Europe and Asia who are living on the streets. There are no shelters, no welfare structures, no social security, no medical coverage and apparently few who care enough to do something about it. There are exceptions – met one couple yesterday and ministered to them prophetically who have adopted a child and now give her a good home. And, one of my team members made sure they had some funds to be able to eat while attending our sessions – hard to focus on God when you and your five children are hungry.

Since 9-11 the governments of this world have spent billions of dollars to hunt down and capture or kill Ben Ladin and yet little to nothing (in comparison) to reaching the kids who live on the streets and in the subways. Humans beings who are hungry, lonely and lost.

Then there was the earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami resulting in thousands of lives tragically lost so suddenly. A wave 25 feet high moving at the speed of a jet plane moving inland and destroying everything in its path. Received a lot of media coverage and made us even more nervous when the ground began to shake and roll beneath our feet here in Kazakhstan.

And yet, the lives of 30,000 children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.

Add to this a report from the United Nations – that income disparities between the world’s richest and poorest have doubled since 1960. Today, the wealthiest 20 percent of the world’s population receives almost 83 percent of the world’s income, while the poorest 20 percent receive less than 2 [percent! The average worker in the USA in 1965 made $7.52 per hour, while the person running the company made $330.38 per hour; today, the average worker makes $7.39 per hour, the average CEO $1,566.68 per hour – 212 times more!

I think that Jesus might have something to say about all this – and the priorities, values, actions, and lifestyle of those who call themselves disciples. Maybe it is time we began to think of what we can do to help the silent majority of our world find hope and a decent daily life and in so doing show them Jesus. Maybe if we took seriously the words and life of Jesus we would not be struggling with problems of overweight and obesity while most of the world is struggling to find enough food to simply survive.

God Continues to Amaze Us – Kazakhstan #11

It is my second Sunday in Kazakhstan and we continue to minister to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. We have had a powerful two days and today – day three – is our last day here in this area of rural Kazakhstan. Tomorrow we move into another area and another phase of our ministry here this time – meeting with pastoral couples, apostolic-prophetic couples, and leaders of local churches. I am enjoying this last day with those whom Jesus has touched so powerfully and who are seriously being transformed by His power.

We have two major services today – both regular Sunday services of about four hours each. And, ministry continues while we eat lunch and supper and sit with many of those who are in attendance. Even yesterday we ministered to one of the young workers at the place where we are staying. He came up to us at supper a few days ago and said he had heard that we could tell him about his future because we were fortune tellers. We told him we were prophetic and could hear God for him if he wanted and that we would gladly prophesy over him. The next day we found him on the conference center grounds and did just that. Amazing ministry to an unsaved young Korean man living in Kazakhstan. I will find his picture and post it in the next day or so as a reminder to pray for him.

We would appreciate your prayers as we do each and every day. So much is happening each day and things change rapidly and we are really being stretched and need to be seriously flexible. We are often surprised by many opportunities to minister – opportunities that are not on our schedule and are not planned but appear as spontaneous opportunities to simply show a person or group the love of God and the fact that Jesus is alive. Pray that all of our team members will remain flexible and that we will respond graciously to all opportunities to minister even when they are somewhat inconvenient. We appreciate you standing with us in prayer.

The Word of the Lord for Today

The following is a prophetic word given in Celina, Ohio at New Life Church in mid-April, 2011 … I believe it is God speaking to His people worldwide about what is about to happen (see yesterday’s blog)…

“Change! Change is coming. I’m about to unleach a wave that will alter the landscape of the church.
What you have known will not be known. For every mountain shall be shifted and moved out of its place. Every stronghold and all that was held dear and sacred to the hearts of My people will be shaken and destroyed.
For I am about to move upon My people. I’m coming to shake My church. Arise, oh sleeper! Arise! The Holy One of Israel comes like a thief in the night. I will come with passion and zeal to My house.
I will once again cleanse the temple of its impurities. Every work of man that has been erected shall tumble, yet every eternal work produced by your hands shall withstand. For there is a firm foundation upon which these works have been built.
I will destroy the religious acts, rituals, and habits that do not please Me. They have always been a stench in My nostrils.
I will knock the dust off of the sacred and holy acts that have pleased Me in times past.
My people will once again engage themselves in a pure form of worship before My throne. Many will say that it’s too radical. Many will say that they are not comfortable with this expression of freedom. But I say I have not come to make My church comfortable; I have come to make her alive and effective for the purpose of My Kingdom!
Prepare your hearts to receive. Heaven is coming, heaven is coming to overtake the earth.
A new song, a new worship, a new shout shall come forth from My bride!
I am in this shaking, says the Lord. Many will resist this. Many will say that persecution and confusion has come to the church, but it will be a pure work.
Signs shall follow those who receive this change and do not resist.
I am coming quickly. Prepare your hearts to receive of Me. Posture yourself to accept the moving of My spirit, for I am about to release everlasting change to My church!

Jesus Sets You Free – Kazakhstan #10

It is Saturday and I am ministering in three services – each three hours long. The main part of those in attendance are recovering drug addicts and alcoholics and many are new believers who are just beginning their wonderful journey of faith following Jesus.

These men are hungry for more of God. Afterall, many of them would have been physically dead if Jesus had not intervened in their lives and saved them. Many have lost so much but Jesus is rebuilding and restoring and each and every one of these men is a walking, living testimony for the Lord and His goodness and grace, His love and mercy. He truly is amazing and His love is so overwhelming. These men are so thankful and so aware that without Him they would most likely not even be alive and certainly not clean of drugs and free of alcohol. There is an amazing atmosphere here as I minister.

This is day two of three here and God has truly blessed us in so many exciting ways in the last day and a half. I can not imagine what He has in store for us this afternoon, tonight and all day tomorrow (Sunday) when many others will join us for worship and two 4 hours services.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated as you know, I hope. We are now entering our second week of ministry here in Kazakhstan and we are really doing okay physically and emotionally. Spiritually we are pumped and continue to be ready to minister to one and all. We would ask that you pray for the many meetings with individuals and leadership couples that go on behind the scenes daily. Our busiest day was last Thursday when between 10:00 and 4:00 we had five appointments – couples who pastor churches, people starting new churches, seminary professors, and young men just beginning to minister as apostles (some of whom drove 14 hours to be here with us). Each day sees an amazing array of appointments and opportunities outside of services to minister, pray and bless. Please pray for these less-than-public meetings and ministry opportunities.

The Reign of God Over the Hearts of Men

The Church is the living Bride of Christ. The Church is an organism and was never meant to be an organization. As soon as we become an organization and not an organic community, the Church ceases to be alive. The Church is to be an alive, radical community of believers where people come and are seriously and permanently transformed by the power of the living God. It is much more than organizational structures, ministries, buildings and programs. It is meant to be a radical, life-giving, transformational community of disciples who are following the Lord Jesus Christ. The true bride of Christ.

Jesus did not set up programs during His three year ministry before His death and resurrection. Instead He modeled a way of living that incarnated the reign of God. – a community in which people were reconciled and their debts forgiven as they learned to forgive their debtors (actually a business term dealing with transactions in the market place). The reign of God over the hearts of men did not spread through organizational establishments or structural systems. It spread like a disease – through touch, through breath, through life. It spread through people infected by love. And, in so doing, change lives then and now and changed the world forever.

God is continuing to build His Church. In the process He is tearing down what man has built. This is going to be a very painful work as much of what we consider sacred and of God is really tradition and of man. Many of our comfortable ways are about to be overturned like the tables of the money changers in the temple when Jesus visited that house of prayer and worship. Many of the long-established methods we use to maintain the ministry and the on-going programs of the Church are about to be removed and we will wonder what to do and how to do it as we enter a new season. We will be amazed at the changes coming upon His Church and the new demands placed upon us to respond to what He is doing.

Many will not believe that what is happening is of God. Many will not respond to what God is doing in His Church but rather will react to what is happening – and react badly, in fact. As a result many will be left behind playing Church while just a remnant move forward towards embracing life and liberty as found only in Jesus and in the life of His Church – an organism that encourages and releases life.

It would be good to prepare your heart for some major changes that are about to come to your church. And, it is a good time to think about how you will react to these massive changes of epic proportions that are about to come upon the Church and God’s people as He tears down, uproots, and destroys what man has built and begins to plant and build His Church His way.
We need to prepare our hearts to walk in newness of life.

A Few Days of Rehab Ministry – Kazakhstan #9

I am working for the next few days with men from one of the local rehabilitation centers – centers usually run by a local church and sponsored by the believers to aid addicts to trust Jesus to free them from drugs and alcohol. As I look at the schedule and notes that I am supplied by my Eastern European administrator I see that I will be teaching 100 people at the events today and that the majority will be rehab guys and some of them brand new believers. My topic: Biblical Church Life.

Today I am free until I am picked up at 1:00 p.m. for the drive to the services. Then I will be ministering from 2:00p to 5:00p and from 6:00p to 9:00p It will take about an hour to drive there and an hour to drive back to where we are staying. It will be a somewhat easier day although the morning will be filled with emails and administration – calendars, planning, scheduling, and organizing trips that are in the works through to June of 2012.

Yesterday I met with 5 different groups of people from three different nations and numerous churches. It was simply one after another and no breaks in-between. Then in the evening I preached and ministered at a local church in the city and then fellowshipped with the local pastor and some of his leaders. It was suppose to be a day off until the evening but slowly it filled up with people wanting and needing to talk with me seeking advice as to what to do. It was a great day but I feel it this morning as I am physically and emotionally tired. I will need to catch my breath and spend some time with the Lord before today becomes too active.

We could use your prayers for: the next three days of ministry with men who are going through the rehab center that we are working with; for strength and refreshment spiritually for team members; for physical strength for team members; for insight, wisdom, and understanding; for power and a tremendous prophetic flow as we minister one-on-one in the various services every day.

Christian Love In Action – Kazakhstan #8

Several days ago at a celebration of the various ethnic groups that make up the Kazakhstan people I met a group of young orphans from a local orphanage who are being ministered to by a local church. This church was sponsoring the multi-national celebration for an afternoon. They are allowed to bless the kids but not talk about Jesus when visiting them at the orphanage. So, they go weekly and are a blessing to all the kids in the oprphanage and invite them out to events like this and here they can share Jesus with them. The kids also get to perform and then everyone gets to thank them and they feel a part of this bigger family. Of course, various ethic foods were a part of the celebration and so it was quite a day.

While everyone is eating I am watching the kids and the young people involved. The picture of is two of the orphans eating some of the ethnic food supplied at the close of the event. The old girl is taking care of the younger guy – feeding him and finding more food. For every mouthful she was able to eat she placed three or four into his mouth. This boy could eat and it was obvious that he was very hungry. She simply lovingly ministered to him, fed him, wiped his face, led him to the next booth for another kind of food. It was amazing to watch them. She simply loved him and he knew he was loved. He knew he was safe and looked to her for protection, care, and feeding. I was emotionally overwhelmed as I watched them. Christ’s love in action in a very practical way. it was a spiritual experience for me.

Today I am meeting with several young people who are planting churches under our ministry and with our help. One in Ukraine and one in Kazakhsta. And, we are holding an evening service in an unregistered and thus illegal church in the city of Astana. It will be a people day and it will involve much people time but this is okay as we came to bless and to minister. The beginning of every trip – the first week – we work at a faster pace than we do the second week. By the second week we are looking for and needing a little more personal space, personal time and opportunities to refresh ourselves physically and spiritually. But we are in the first week so our pace is very rapid on purpose.

Your prayers for our meetings both one-on-one and the public meetings would be greatly appreciatd. Please pray for the orphans. Pray for the many addicts we have been ministering to and those we are about to spend three days with – about 70 in number. And pray for our physical protection as earthquakes and aftershocks continue regularly and we never know when the next one will hit. Your prayers are greatly appreciarted.

Christians or Disciples?

Jesus said to “go into all the world and make disciples…” and often we have done nothing of the sort.

Some never speak to others about Jesus which, of course, is straight disobedience and rebellion. Jesus’ mandate to His Church – and thus those who call upon His Name – was a command and not an option. We are to go into our every day world and tell others about Jesus, win them to the Lord and make disciples of them.

Others go and make converts to their religion. This is not what He told us to do. And, it ends up the blind leading the blind and they are worse off than before we got to them. This was Jesus’ complaint to the Pharisees.

Still others make sure that the person the are talking to believes the truth about Jesus and thus makes them into a believer, a Christian -but even the demons believe and they are not going to Heaven (James 4). Of course, we want them to be Christians – but no one can agree on what a Christian is and how they should behave.

Jesus said that we were to make disciples. A disciple is a follower. A disciple is an apprentice of the Master and is becoming like his Master. Jesus wants people to follow Him so He can make them into His nature (to be like Him) and bring out His life and character from their heart. And, if we understood the concept of “convert” and “conversion” we could also be comfortable with that word as well. Conversion means to change, to alter, after which something looks different than it did before. Ah! A disciple.

Here overseas in Kazakhstan where I am ministering you take American currency and you exchange it for the local currency so you can purchase what you need. This is called converting your money. The Kazakhstan currency looks nothing like the American currency you handed in at the window.

The Church and the Kingdom need converts in the best sense of the word – people who are marked by the renewing of their minds and imaginations, who no longer conform to the pattern that is destroying people and the world that we live in. Otherwise, we have only believers and believers are a dime-a-dozen nowadays. What the world needs is people who believe so much in another world and another Kingdom that they cannot help but bring change to the world that they now live in.. Again, only disciples will do that as they truly follow their Master, Jesus.

Jesus calls us to be disciples and to make disciples and calls His disciples to be Kingdom people who are Kingdom-minded and who are a counter-culture to the world’s ways. Not a sub-culture but a counter-culture that is in direct opposition to the ruling culture and the ways of the world. He wants His disciples to be so radical, so revolutionary that we are vastly different than those who are not His disciples so that others will know that we are His disciples and we will represent Him well in the battle for souls we are now engaged in.

School for Leaders – Kazakhstan #7

The School for leaders ends today and I am actually sorry to see it end. Yes, it is hard work and long hours. But, they are so hungry, so unassuming, so desperate for more of God, so willing to change, learn and grow … that it is a joy to teach them. They literally hook onto your anointing and suck it in drawing every ounce of it out of you in each session. It has been a neat three days and God has moved in mighty ways and touched many lives of the 50+ leaders gathered.

Tomorrow morning I have a morning to meet with my apostle-in-training who is with me on this trip. Miroslav and I are working on a number of projects quickly coming up on the calendar and effecting the nations of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan as well as several former Soviet Union nations we have yet to visit but in which we are already having an impact. Then, in the afternoon, I will be working with a young man in his thirties (yes that is young when I am in my mid sixties) who is about to plant a church in Almaty and wants to do so in a proper way – apostolically and prophetically. Then, in the evening, an open service in a local church. This service is being announced by word of mouth only as the congregation and the building they used are not licensed by the government or registered with them. Therefore, they are literally an illegal congregation or meeting of believers.

Please pray for all of these meetings and the time I will be having with individuals throughout the day. For wisdom, understanding, the heart of God as well as that I may show these young men that I am there for them and will help them in any and every way that I can. Pray that they would, in the midst of all the details being discussed, see my heart for them.